5+ A Day
Sprouted Beans and Seeds


All year round.


Storage and Handling

Store in the crisper of the refrigerator in a ventilated plastic bag (they are usually sold in a container you can store them in). Handle all fresh produce with care and wash before eating. 



Bean sprouts have been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years and were brought to New Zealand with the first Asian immigrants in the Gold Rush days. Sprouts were made popular with the `hippie' movement in the States in the seventies and have only been available commercially in New Zealand since 1981.


Facts and Varieties

  • Sprouts start as dry beans and seeds
  • Many different sprouts are available and they are often sold in combination packs
  • Alfalfa and alfalfa sprout mixtures are by far the most popular sprout in New Zealand. Alfalfa sprouts have a fresh crisp taste and are often combined with other flavours such as radish and onion.  Yellowish alfalfa doesn't mean that it is old, the leaves have not been exposed to much light and the green chlorophyll has not yet developed.  If the leaves are green, they've probably been under a fluorescent light for more than two days. Alfalfa sprouts are almost always used raw. Alfalfa in Arabic it means 'father of all foods'
  • Snowpea shoots have the characteristic taste of snowpeas and have long white shoots about 5-7 cm long, they are used raw in salads and sandwiches. They should be crisp and firm with no signs of browning
  • Adzuki sprouts are sometimes called aduki sprouts.  They are small and reddish-brown with short white shoots with no leaves.  They have a nutty taste and can be eaten raw and cooked
  • Baby mungsprouts are mung bean shoots with only a small white root and they still have an olive green coat on the bean
  • Mung beansprouts are sometimes called Chinese mung beans.  They have long shoots of 3-5 cm and the coat on the mung bean is a very pale green-yellow
  • Lentil sprouts are small, flat and blue-grey or light brown coloured seeds with a short shoot.  They are crunchy and have a nutty taste
  • Blue pea sprouts are blue-green peas with a short white sprout.  The peas are crunchy with a strong but tasty pea flavor
  • Mustard and cress are the most popular sprout in the UK and are growing in popularity here. The tangy flavour compliments all hot or cold ham or egg dishes. These are usually sold growing on a foam pad, trim with scissors as required
  • Chick pea sprouts are a large white pea with a creamy nutty flavour
  • Japanese Kaiware shoots, Kaiware in Japanese means open shell. This attractive product is used extensively in the orient as a garnish or as a spicy addition to salads and stir-fries. Kaiware has a distinctive radish flavour. They are usually sold growing on a foam pad, trim with scissors as required
  • Soy bean sprouts are very popular in Japanese and Korean cuisines, these strongly flavoured bean sprouts are able to be used raw or cooked
  • Sunflower shoots, these shoots have a characteristic fresh carrot flavour that is very appealing in both hot and cold salads. Their long silver stem and two green baby leaves also makes them an attractive garnish. They are usually sold growing on a foam pad, trim with scissors as required


Growing Facts

  • Beans and seeds are sprouted by soaking in water, then draining and storing in an aerated jar out of direct sunlight. They need to be rinsed regularly throughout the time they take to sprout

Nutrition Information

1/2 cup = 17 g (alfalfa sprouts)

  Average Quantity per serving % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity per 100 g
Energy (kJ/Cal) 18/4 0% 107/26
Protein (g) 0.6 1% 3.7
Fat, total (g) 0.1 0% 0.7
- saturated (g) 0.02 0% 0.1
Available carbohydrate (g) 0.0 0% 0.0
- sugars (g) 0.0 0% 0.0
Dietary Fibre (g) 0.4 1% 2.2
Sodium (mg) 1 0% 6

Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ

Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs

*Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)

Source: FOODfiles 2016